First things first, CBD stands for Cannabidiol which is simply a chemical compound that occurs naturally in cannabis flowers. The cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids. The most famous of the cannabinoids are CBD, and THC, which is extracted from the wrongfully infamous marijuana plant. Much of the worry surrounding CBD is whether or not it gets you high, and the answer is no.
CBD has a level of THC below 0.2% and holds medicinal benefits but no psychoactive effects, unlike THC which consists of both, with THC levels way above 0.2%.
Ok now I’m interested, how does it work?
It’s very simple actually. CBD and THC interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The human body has two receptors of cannabinoids, in addition to producing certain cannabinoids on its own. Receptor 1 is CB1, which deals with the brain, and CB2 that focuses on the immune system.
CBD works in a similar way to our body’s already existing endocannabinoid system, thus often restoring good health. It also encourages the body to produce more endocannabinoids.
Let’s look at some of the benefits…
CBD is derived from the hemp plant, a natural remedy used for many common illnesses for hundreds of years now. More recently, based on both human and animal studies, scientists have been able to show that CBD may, in fact, have various health benefits.
Some of these include:
Helping inflammation, fighting acne, potentially ease cancer symptoms, pain relief, chronic pain relief, treating insomnia and neurological diseases, e.g. Alzheimer's, lowering blood pressure, relieving stress and anxiety, or help with curing depression.
CBD + Pain relief
Does CBD help to relieve pain? Yes. As said by Dr. Sarah Brewer, medical nutritionist and health author, “It is highly antioxidant so has anti-inflammatory effects on joints, to improve pain and stiffness. CBD also has an analgesic effect to reduce pain perception in the brain.”
CBD has been confirmed to have positive effects on arthritis, as well as other chronic pains.
CBD + Cancer
Although there is still a lot of research to be conducted regarding the impact of using CBD to treat cancer, evidence has shown that cannabinoids can help to reduce tumour growth.
CBD works well as a complementary treatment for cancer. Regular cancer treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy, have a variety of side effects, including nausea, poor appetite, and neuropathic pain, all of which CBD can help with.
CBD + Mental health
CBD has no confirmed effect on mental health disorders but has shown the potential to be used as a treatment for anxiety and depression. This is caused by CBD’s ability to impact the brain’s receptors, stimulating serotonin levels.
People suffering from insomnia and high-stress levels have also confirmed the benefits of using CBD.
CBD + Neuroprotective properties
CBD is well known for having possible neurological effects, due to its ability to protect neurons in the body from degeneration. As a result, it is often used to treat epilepsy, tremors, Alzheimer’s disease, and most famously Parkinson’s disease.
It encourages the body to form new neurons, while simultaneously reducing any damage caused to the nervous system or brain. CBD’s neuroprotective properties are a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
CBD + Heart health
Recent scientific research has revealed the many benefits CBD has on the heart and circulatory system. CBD can help lower high blood pressure due to its stress and anxiety-reducing abilities.
Some research has also suggested that the antioxidant and stress-reducing properties found in CBD could help with heart disease.
Last but not least, is CBD legal?
There is a lot of confusion around the laws surrounding CBD use in the UK. So let us make things clear, CBD is completely legal as long as it has been derived from an industrial-grade hemp strain, approved by the EU, and has a THC content of no more than 0.2%.